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Maori Party Keen to be part of Housing Solutions

Maori Party Keen to be part of discussion on Housing Solutions

Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Maori Party Co-leader, Tariana Turia, has commended PM John Key, for telling it like it is, and describing the Government as in danger of becoming a 'slum landlord'.

“Families have experienced the sub-standard conditions of state housing for far too long” said Mrs Turia. “All of the Maori Party MPs have copious examples of communities where state housing has fallen into various states of disrepair and decay with not enough being done to address these issues over the past nine years".

“I support the PM’s commitment to improve the quality of houses, particularly in addressing the lack of insulation and heating” said Mrs Turia.

“The Maori Party has consistently promoted the view that decent housing is essential to good health and wellbeing, particularly the very young and the very old”.

“I am aware that the Housing Minister has confirmed that any houses sold would be replaced” said Mrs Turia. “Mr Heatley’s assurance that houses would be replaced is a demonstration that more people would be housed ".

“We can not ignore the situation for low and fixed income families, who are already suffering from the economic conditions” said Mrs Turia. “The Salvation Army estimated that in Auckland alone, there is a housing shortfall of at least 2500 dwellings”.

“We believe that New Zealanders should not be denied the opportunity to rent from the state – we need warm and healthy homes; we need affordable housing; we need to respond to the urgent demand to address the housing shortage; and we need to ensure there are suitable housing options in place for all”.

“We consider that an upgrade in the state housing stock, and an increase in housing supply, will also have the advantage of stimulating the building industry and other housing related trades” said Mrs Turia. “Such activity generated by the state, would be a useful buffer in the current economic climate; and will make a substantial difference to the unacceptably high waiting lists”.

“We will be keen to have a discussion with the Prime Minister about this issue, as our position has always been that the state must take the major responsibility for social housing, including capping the rent for state housing and reviewing the accommodation supplement to address overcrowding and homelessness” said Mrs Turia.


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